£850k expansion on the cards for village school

Kirton Primary school council members outside their school.
Kirton Primary school council members outside their school.

An £850,000 expansion of Kirton Primary School could see pupils numbers rise from 420 to 630 – if local authority proposals get the go-ahead.

The proposals address what Lincolnshire County Council calls the ‘expected shortage’ of primary reception places due to ‘increased birth rates, housing development and inward migration’ in the area.

Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for Children’s Services, said: “We know Kirton Primary is struggling with capacity and there is expected to be a long-term requirement for more school places. This is why we have acted to bring this expansion forward.”

The school increased its reception intake last year from 60-90 (from two classes to three) due to the large number of children requiring a place.

“It’s exciting,” said headteacher Nicky Donley. “The expansion would be gradual, taking in only one extra class a year into reception.”

If given the go-ahead, building work on new classrooms, library and studio hall, will begin this year, with the initial expansion in pupil admissions implemented from 2014.

The expansion plan is one of a number across Lincolnshire as pressure mounts on primary school places.

A planning application will be considered soon to grow Westmere Primary School in Sutton Bridge from its current 210-pupil roll to 315 over the next few years.

The plan would provide the school with four extra purpose-built classrooms as well as new toilets and an extension to the existing hard play area.

During a consultation with parents, many expressed support for the idea, saying better facilities can only be a positive thing and that the growth is necessary to cater for the growing number of children in the county.

Spalding Primary School also recently received planning permission for a temporary classroom in its grounds to cater for an additional intake of pupils last September, and plans are now afoot for a purpose-built £2.5million annex school within the Wygate Park development.

It could include at least seven classrooms and cater for more than 200 children.